Should I File A Claim or Not?

What should I think about when considering whether to file a claim on my insurance?”

People buy insurance so that when they have a covered claim they can get paid for their loss.  However, as surprising as it may seem many people give up their rights under their insurance policy because they don’t want to file a claim.The reasons for doing this vary greatly:

  • Some people don’t want to file a claim because they don’t believe the person making the claim against them deserves payment and they are afraid if they file a claim their insurer will pay an undeserving claim.
  • Others don’t file claims because they’re afraid their insurance will go up in price.
  • Others are busy and just put off filing claims.
  • Still others feel anxiety about the claim and put off the claim because they don’t want to think about it.
  • Others feel they can handle the claim better than the insurance company because they know the circumstances of what happened better.

Regardless of which of those reasons a person may have for not filing a claim they’ve made a mistake.  Late reporting or non-reporting of claims can result in the insurer denying a claim because their rights have been compromised.

If the claim involves a crime such as theft, burglary, vandalism or other crime, insurance policies require that a report be made to police authorities as well as to the insurance company.

When you have a claim you’ll need to cooperate with the insurer if you want your claim handled properly.  That means preventing further damage if you’ve got property that’s damaged by a fire or other perils.  You’ll also be required to let the claims adjuster and other insurance representatives inspect the damaged property and your financial records relating to the damaged property.

If the claim is a liability claim, you’ll need to forward all legal documents you receive to your insurer so that they can properly file various notices with the court and the other party.  You’ll also likely be required to supply documents that relate to the claim and possibly to attend depositions and other court hearings.

As a practical matter keep the claim number and the adjuster’s phone number handy while your claim is being processed so that you can contact the insurer as needed.